8 Common Resume Mistakes that Recruiters Hate to See

piece of paper tearing with the text "Common Resume Mistakes"

If you are thinking about entering the job market, you will probably need to update your resume. Is this task annoying? Yes. Is it necessary? Definitely! Making sure your resume is up to date with your most current experience is very important when targeting your top job opportunities.

As a recruiting firm, we look at hundreds of resumes every week from candidates across industries and job functions. We have seen the best and the worst of resumes. Here are 8 resume ‘pet-peeves’ straight from our top recruiters.


1. Resumes that are Too Long

We are recruiters, not book editors! We do not need to know every single responsibility you have had at each job since college. Recruiters want to see how you can be a fit for their job opening, so make it easy for them to see that without your relevant experience getting drowned out with unnecessary information.

Tip: Your resume should be no longer than 2 pages If your resume is longer, trim down the responsibilities for jobs earlier in your career and focus on the most recent and relevant experiences.


2. Resumes that are Too Short

While this is a little less common, short resumes can be a problem for people earlier in their career. Your resume should fill out 1 page.

Tip: If you are struggling to add content to your resume, add a section for projects to highlight important college work, add a section for volunteer work, or add any internships that are relevant.


3. Inconsistent Formatting

Nothing drives recruiters crazier than reading a resume with a variety of fonts, styles, and bullet points. This makes a resume very hard to read and it’s not pleasing on the eye. Think of your resume as your first impression to a potential employer, and make sure it is a representation of your strong organizational skills and attention to detail.

Tip: Pick one font and stick with it – make sure it is easy to read. Use bullet points for the responsibilities of each job and make sure you use the same style of bullet points each time.


4. Inappropriate Email Addresses

If your email address is not some variation of your first and last name, you should create a new email for your job search. It looks unprofessional to have descriptors such as girl, boy, mom, dad, family, chick, dude, etc.

Tip: Follow this link for information on how to create a new Gmail account. If your first/last name is not available, add dots, dashes, or numbers to find something that is.


5. Too Much or Too Little Contact Information

In today’s world where there is so much technology and the world is shifting to remote work, listing your entire address on your resume is unnecessary. Simply a city and state will do!

However, do not put too little contact information either. Resumes without an email address or phone number tend to look like you are not very serious about looking for a new job.

Tip: Contact information should include: First and Last Name, Email address, Phone Number, City and State.

Optional: Link to your LinkedIn profile and zip code.


6. Experience is Not Relevant

Make sure your resume is relevant for the job you are applying for and applicable skills are clearly presented near the top of your resume.

Recruiters do not spend a long time reading through each line of a resume, so make it easy for them to see how you are a match!

Tip: Add how many years of experience you have and related software/tools you’ve used to the summary section at the top of your resume. You can even bold some of these keywords to help them stand out.


7. Resumes Not in Chronological Order

When listing out your experience, always start with your most recent job and work backwards. Potential employers will care more about your most recent experiences than they will about older ones. Don’t waste that resume real estate on lesser important jobs.

Tip: If you have 20+ years of experience and earlier in your career worked in a completely different function than the job you are applying for, it is not necessary to even include that older experience.


8. Cover Letters

In today’s day and age, cover letters are unnecessary. Unless a job specifically requires you to submit a cover letter, do not waste your time!


We hope these resume tips are helpful for you when updating your resume for your next dream job. Now that you’ve updated your resume – check out our current job openings!